Nothing says summer to me quite like caponata. You know if you have all the ingredients growing in your own garden that summer is cresting and you’d better pull out your hammock, brew some ice tea and kick back to enjoy it before the mad flurry of Labor Day happens.
We’ve had a few eggplants now so I decided to stop savoring the pure and simple flavor of grilled eggplant and do something a little more exciting with it.
My husband is the grill meister and excels at grilling summer veggies. Today I picked twice our usual number so we would have leftovers. I vertically stacked the leftover grilled slices and cubed them up, making short work of what can otherwise be a cumbersome dish.
I sweated some chopped onion and celery from the garden until just soft, then removed them from the pan into a non-reactive bowl to cool.
To the pan I added about a cup of my homemade, homegrown tomato sauce, 1/2 cup red or white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of organic cane juice, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and a few red pepper seeds for zip.
I brought this mixture just to a simmer then poured it over the eggplant and zucchini in the bowl, mixing gently.
If you had green olives or capers you could certainly add some but I think it was fabulous without them. I was planning to pickle my narsturtium seeds to make narsturtium capers this year but the chickens put an end to that hair-brained idea.
Along with fresh raddichio, chard and mizuna topped with spagetti from Azure Standard in turn topped with my amazing tomato sauce and Italian sausage from Skagit River Ranch this made for one amazingly fresh from the garden meal. The image may be blurry but the flavor was not!